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Sports Media Issues

Tune into ESPN 2’s “WNBA Free Agency Special”

On Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. ET, ESPN 2 will air a live, one-hour "WNBA Free Agency Special."

It’s time for more support of WNBA coverage

The landscape of women’s basketball media needs to grow in order for the game itself to continue to grow.

This Week in Women’s Basketball: Might the WNBA be coming to the Mile High City?

This week, we discovered Denver is a finalist for one of two WNBA expansion teams, both of which would enter the league by the 2025 season. Here’s what else happened in the world of women’s hoops.

Paige Bueckers models how white athletes can use their platform

Upon winning the Best College Athlete award for women’s sports at the ESPYs, UConn’s Paige Bueckers used the platform provided by her acceptance to share the spotlight with Black women, emphasizing how their importance to women’s basketball has failed to be adequately appreciated. Moving forward, will the media and sponsors actually listen to Bueckers’ message?

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SI selecting Breanna Stewart as the face of the WNBA’s activism in 2020 is not a good look

From Karleigh Webb in an op-ed for our friends at Outsports, Angel McCoughtry, A’ja Wilson, Nneka Ogwumike, Maya Moore, Natasha Cloud and Renee Montgomery should have been the top candidates for Sports Illustrated’s "Athlete Activist" Sportsperson of the Year award.

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SI snub of WNBA’s collective activist efforts a ‘stinging, yet familiar slap in the face’ to Black women

Outsports took a comprehensive look at the significance of Breanna Stewart being named a Sports Illustrated ‘Athlete Activist’ Sportsperson on the Year, and examined the backlash. WNBPA first vice-president Layshia Clarendon condemned the publication for not honoring the WNBA as a whole. Swish Appeal editor-in-chief Tamryn Spruill stated in her interview with Outsports that SI’s choice is a "familiar slap in the face" to Black women.


"By choosing to run political ads, specifically those by the most divisive president in U.S. history, you have thrown all of the Swish Appeal contributors into moral conflict," Swish Appeal editor-in-chief Tamryn Spruill wrote in an open letter to the media giant on behalf of her staff.

Layshia Clarendon: ‘The world has finally awakened to the superpower that Black women are’

Yet, so many Black women are cast to the shadows, ignored or silenced. WNBPA first vice president Layshia Clarendon outlines the social justice initiatives the players are considering for the 2020 season and accepts the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award on behalf of the WNBPA.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast on Bird, Taurasi and the Russians underscores need for more WNBA media coverage

ESPN’s most recent 30 for 30 podcast, "The Spy Who Signed Me," highlights Sue Bird’s and Diana Taurasi’s experience playing for Shabtai Kalmanovich’s Spartak, once the best, and best treated, women’s basketball team in the world. Yet, for all the twists and turns of this captivating tale, it presents a rather unsurprising, yet sobering takeaway — the WNBA needs more coverage!

It took a fight involving Brittney Griner and the ejection of six players for mainstream media to cover the WNBA

Brittney Griner and two of her Phoenix Mercury teammates, plus three Dallas Wings players, were ejected following an on-court scuffle on Saturday night.

The WNBA does not need to ‘make way’ for male fans, including NBA players

While it is cool that NBA players support the WNBA, celebrating the fandom of NBA players carries implications that the WNBA should avoid. The league better can demonstrate its values by de-centering the prominent, as well as the problematic, male fan in its social media marketing.

The Kobe conundrum in women’s basketball

Should Kobe Bryant’s celebrated status in the world of women’s basketball be questioned? Absolutely. But, it’s complicated.

ESPN’s leak of NCAA Women’s Tournament bracket is a symptom of the network’s systemic issues

A refusal by ESPN and other mainstream sports media outlets to cover women’s sports and associated issues equitably is at the heart of yesterday’s debacle. In this edition of Hoops Happening, a look into the issues at ESPN, Natasha Cloud’s tweets about the leak, and more.

The NCAAW Tournament bracket may have leaked early

Screenshots of bracket information from an ESPNU program swirled online Monday afternoon. However, Swish Appeal will not be publishing bracket information until it has been verified during tonight’s selection show.

NBA All-Star Weekend was simply MARVEL-ous!

Marvel Studios joined forces with the WNBA in stunning ad for Captain Marvel. Also in this edition of Hoops Happening: a recap of NBA All-Star events, comments on one player’s All-Star snub, Naismith finalists, a general news roundup, one special shout-out, bonus All-Star coverage, and more from the world of women’s hoops!

Will the NBA finally put its cards on the table during WNBA CBA talks?

In a free-flowing essay in The Players’ Tribune, WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike packaged some pointed messages for the NBA in layers of hope and inspiration. This is today in women’s basketball for Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

A response from the league on Tuesday’s column

A source from the NBA/WNBA reached out to address concerns raised in Tuesday’s column. Here’s a roundup of the points that were addressed.

Taking a stand against gender discrimination, pay inequality of WNBA players

Reporting on the beautiful inferno that was last night’s #WNBATwitter. Plus, Players of the Week, All-Star voting, injury updates, links and more. This is today in women’s basketball for Tuesday June 19, 2018!

NBA & WNBA stars take part in #LeanInTogether PSA

The NBA and WNBA partnered with LeanIn.Org to kickstart a new campaign targeting men to embrace gender equality.

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Sexism has a lot to do with WNBA criticism

One has the right not to like the WNBA. But one shouldn't have to go out out of his or her way to bash the league.

Hammon, Dunn headline Inspiring Women honorees

Watch some videos from the WNBA's Inspiring Women Luncheon last Friday, as well as some pictures.

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The real lesson of the Mo'Ne Davis story

So while it’s great that a 13-year-old girl was treated as an accomplished athlete, I’d be more grateful if Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, two of the greatest basketball players on earth, didn’t...
From "Mo’ne Davis is out of Litt...

UConn-Notre Dame drew highest ratings in a decade

Despite a lopsided outcome, Tuesday night's NCAA women's basketball championship game between UConn and Notre Dame drew the largest viewership in a decade.

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What's the impact of Skylar Diggins' SI pictorial?

Here is one fan's take as to whether the impact could be positive or negative for the second year guard for the Tulsa Shock.

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Seattle Storm's titles ignored by national media after Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl

FOX cut from the Seahawks’ domination of Super Bowl XLVIII to show images of its interpretation of the city’s only other champion — the 1979 Sonics — and a nerve was pricked, again...Seattle’s WNBA...
From "Storm fans’ “major” proble...

Zirin on making sports 'an anti-sexist safe space'

This past week, Dave Zirin of The Nation visited the Bay Area and discussed mixing sports and politics, homophia in sports, and the role of women's sports in helping sports culture evolve into an "anti-sexist safe space".

Twitter & Pro Athletes: How Should Sports Leagues Respond When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong?

The MLB, NBA, and NFL already have policies in place limiting the use of social media for league employees and, in the case of the NFL, for media as well. Clearly, there are times in the Twitterverse when keeping it real can go wrong and pro sports leagues are engaging in a little pre-emptive damage control.

On sports media (Pt. 2): Mel Greenberg, disciplined imagination and making the WNBA relevant

Substanceless self-absorbed opinion hurts women's basketball simply because there's so little of substance out there to counterbalance the nonsense. "We don't have that much depth when media is covering us necessarily on a regular basis," said Washington Mystics general manager Angela Taylor in an interview with Swish Appeal back in February.

On sports media (Pt. 1): "A good columnist's thinking doesn't end until the event does"

Although I think there's a standard of journalism that should be adhered to across sports, I think good journalism is probably even more important for women's sports. And I think good journalism that helps the game grow can be produced without becoming an outright cheerleader or public relations agent.

Jene Morris: A Social Media Mastermind in the Making?

Jene Morris, a rookie heading to the Indiana Fever never expected the newfound life and career that befell her just a mere few weeks ago. In an interview with Swish Appeal, Morris talks about the expanding reach of new media with almost amazement in her voice as she remarks about the advancements from radio and newspaper, to the internet and iPhone applications and the "whole wave of the digital age".

"The Persecution of Excellence": Why sensationalistic journalism is bad for women's basketball

The argument that UConn must somehow be "bad for women's basketball" because they are exceptionally good at women's basketball was so completely illogical, incoherent, and shallow that there simply wasn't any real way to begin responding. It's merely yet another example of sensationalistic journalism that plagues us in a society that "is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection." And it's especially bad for women's sports.

"Politics is culture is politics": Mayer, Social Media, and the Narcissistic Cult of Self

Interrupting the ongoing dialogue about Lindsey Vonn's cover photo shoot, a question for women's sports advocates who want more attention for women's sports: what kind of coverage do we really want for female athletes? In the media wormhole of selfishness, greediness, and arrogance we live in, is any attention really good attention for women's sports, particularly on social media?